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Save Them All: In the Shelters


Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell
by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

Huntington Beach, Calif. is reportedly the city that the Beach Boys were singing about in their famed hit, "Surf City U.S.A.," so some people felt it was only fitting that our 4-legged family members get in on the action.

The 5th annual Surf City Surf Dog competition was held this past weekend, which featured 54 canine contestants who caught 4-to-5 foot waves in front of hundreds of spectators.

"It's been an uphill battle," Lisa Scolman, co-founder of the event told the Huntington Beach Independent. "People didn't believe and it took a while to get it off the ground. But now this year, we have surf legends judging, great new sponsors. So from our first to fifth year, I think we've finally made it. We're on the map."

The competition also scored some high profile judges this year in the surfing world, including Pete Townend (no, not Pete Townshend of The Who), but the real score was for the rescue organizations the event helped, including Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue, Barks of Love and the Orange County Humane Society.

As with people, surfing dog lovers believe the dogs must have a passion for the sport, or sometimes even a natural ability.

Such is the case with Banana, a 14-year-old Corgi/Jack Russell Terrier mix that naturally took to the board while watching his dad, Brian Koerner, surfing. The two competed in the tandem surf this past weekend.

No word on how the pair scored on their technique or duration of the ride, but Koerner says it's all in a day of fun anyway and we bet that Banana didn't care if he won a medal.

Discovery News answers the question of whether dogs really like to surf, "You only attempt surfing with dogs that really love the beach and water," says Rob Kuty, the official animal trainer at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego.

We imagine dogs that like the beach and water think it's pretty rad.

This article was originally published on partner site Pet360.com.

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Paris Permenter & John Bigley via Pet360
We've previously written about the reasons many people are reluctant to visit a shelter for their next pet. One of the biggest barriers to adoption is the concern of many people that a shelter will be depressing. Some, who might not have ever visited a shelter in the past, imagine a somewhat scary place housing animals with health or behavior problems. Whether those misperceptions are based on poor photography of adoptables or sad advertisements, some potential adopters may be reluctant to look to a shelter for their next pet.

The Surprising Survey Results

But, a recent survey found out that reluctance to visit a shelter might also be due to the fact that many people just don't realize the number of animals that die every day in animal shelters across the US.

A recent study by Best Friends Animal Society found that half of Americans surveyed believe that approximately 500 dogs and cats are euthanized every day in shelters across the country. The reality, while better than in years past, is a number far more staggering: 9,000.

Every day, 9,000 healthy dogs and cats are killed at shelters due to the fact that they don't have a home and the shelters don't have the space.

Another common misconception by close to half those surveyed was that shelter animals will be reclaimed by their owners, adopted, or transported to another shelter or rescue to continue to look for a forever home. The numbers of successful reunions of lost pets with owners is increasing, as are adoptions and transports, but the fact remains that millions of animals will never again put a paw outside a shelter once they are admitted.

How You Can Help "Save Them All"

Best Friends, a national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters, released these survey results for the launch of its Save Them All™ initiative. Although the numbers show that few Americans are actively helping their shelters through donations (just 32 percent) or pet adoption (15 percent within the last year), Best Friends is recommending many ways to help. The methods include donations, adoptions, spay/neuter, and volunteering of your time to help a shelter in your local area.

One last way Best Friends urges everyone to assist is simple and free: just help spread the word about the state of shelters across America today with family and friends. Best Friends is asking for support on your favorite social media platform using the hashtag #SaveThemAll. Whether that's an upbeat Tweet about a great adoptable pet in your area or a Facebook status post about the number of homeless pets killed every day, you can help spread the word and, in the process, help Save Them All.

This article was originally published on partner site Pet360.com.

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